Close-to-fission dumbbell Jupiter-Trojan (17365) Thymbraeus

B. Carry, P. Descamps, M. Ferrais, J. P. Rivet, J. Berthier, E. Jehin, D. Vernet, L. Abe, P. Bendjoya, F. Vachier, M. Pajuelo, M. Birlan, F. Colas, Z. Benkhaldoun

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Context. Every population of small bodies in the Solar System contains a sizable fraction of multiple systems. Of these, the Jupiter Trojans have the lowest number of known binary systems and they are the least well characterized. Aims. We aim to characterize the reported binary system (17365) Thymbraeus, one of only seven multiple systems of Jupiter Trojans known. Methods. We conducted light curve observing campaigns in 2013, 2015, and 2021 with ground-based telescopes. We modeled these light curves using dumbbell figures of equilibrium. Results. We show that Thymbraeus is unlikely a binary system. Its light curves are fully consistent with a bilobated shape: a dumbbell equilibrium figure. We determine a low density of 830 ± 50 kg m-3, consistent with the reported density of other Jupiter-Trojan asteroids and small Kuiper belt objects. The angular velocity of Thymbraeus is close to fission. If separated, its components would become a similarly sized double asteroid, like the Jupiter-Trojan (617) Patroclus.

Idioma originalInglés
Número de artículoA21
PublicaciónAstronomy and Astrophysics
EstadoPublicada - 1 dic. 2023


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